Still waiting on the Lord…and our thoughts as we wait

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have to go into that “Scarlett O’Hara Survival Mode” of thought, saying about all kinds of things: “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.” Then I make a list, and schedule myself to think about those things tomorrow. (O.K. I feel kind of silly admitting that’s how my brain works!)

But it works for me, and it works for a while. Until “tomorrow” catches up with me. Like it has today. Since today is yesterday’s tomorrow, and our lives have slowed down a bit, I’m thrilled to be back at the computer pounding out my thoughts. Because that’s how I process. And you are amazingly kind. Because if you’re still with me, you apparently care enough to read them! (Bless you, my friends!)

So as we continue to wait on the Lord, here are some things I’ve been thinking about:

1. Our current situation.

We still have no job. The Lord has closed every door but one, and the one that has remained opened has also remained silent for 5 weeks. We have asked the Lord about applying for non-ministry related jobs, and His answer continues to be “Wait. Trust Me. Obey what I’ve given you to do today.” So we wait.
(Last night, the culmination of 5 weeks of curiosity got the better of James, and he went to his computer to e-mail a friend~just to see if the friend knew whether that one remaining door was still opened. And the only thing that was working on his computer was FaceBook! He couldn’t pull up his e-mail, or anything else on the internet. But FB was still working – and we all know how fickle FB usually is! He tried several times, then concluded that the Lord was obviously preventing him from knowing what was going on. So we continue to wait. trust. and obey.)

As the Lord directed, we put our house on the market 3 weeks ago. And NOT ONE person has come to look at it. Not O.N.E.

Last week in my QT, I was asking the Lord some of those adverbial “What… When… Where… How… and Why…” questions, like “What are Your plans for our family? What are You doing in, through, and around our situation? When will You do it? When will we move? Where will we move? How will you work it all out? Why are you taking so long? etc.”

The Lord patiently let me ask, but didn’t give me any specific answer. He pressed upon me the same Word I’ve been hearing from Him for almost 4 months~

“Trust Me and Obey Me” with one little addition: He assured me that when this time is complete, there will be NO Question in anyone’s mind that God is the ONE who worked out every detail of our lives. We will not be able to take one ounce of credit for “what, when, where, how, and why” we end up where we end up. He is setting the stage for His glory, and boy will we have a story to tell one of these days!


2. God is a Command Man kind of King (In all of the good ways!)

Do you remember the post I wrote on the three types of men? Of course we know that God is the perfect blend of the best qualities of all three men. But having Mr. Steady for a husband, and a Mr. Steady father, I’ve realized lately that I tend to relate to God as a Mr. Steady more than I do as Commanding King.

I’ve also come to the realization that (…. duh… wait for it…) God CAN NOT and WILL NOT be manipulated! I know… Shocker! My tears, pleas, pouts, promises, and whatever else my feminine wiles can produce will NOT manipulate Him. (Praise the Lord for that!)

And like the wife of a Command Man, I will be happiest when I learn to joyfully submit to Him, and adapt my life to Him, instead of expecting Him to adapt to me. (Again, I say… duh!)

3. The walk of faith is more like a climb up a mountain than a level path on the seashore. And I’m not that adventurous.

This is the kind of mountain I’d rather climb: One from home!

mountain climbing cartoon

However, at least with our family, it seems that the Lord continues to give us “Faith Mountains” that look more like this:

mountain cliff And sometimes, we’re doing it like this: mountain climbing when hard

But the view and closeness to God has been worth the climb. Every time. And I know that this climb of Faith will produce an additional something of God in us that will be for His glory and for our good.

Henry Blackaby writes: “The previous level of your walk with God will not be adequate for the new work God wants to do through you. Each new command of Jesus will require a fresh knowledge and understanding of Him. The Holy Spirit will teach you about Jesus so you can trust Him and obey Him. Then you will experience Him in new ways. This is how you grow in Him.”

We are definitely growing in Him during this time of waiting. And we know that He is producing something good in our children’s lives as they wait and watch and trust and obey, too. Something that will be a blessing to them for the rest of their lives.

4. God gives rest and peace, even in the midst of the climb.

That’s been a huge gift from Him. We have done just what Psalm 5:3 says, “I lay down and slept. I awakened again. For the Lord sustains me.”

Aside from my personal hormonal issues, our entire family has rested well every night. Even from the cliffs of the climb. However, sometimes it feels like we’re resting in this:

sleeping bag shelter Ever seen one of those? It can hang from a tree, or from the side of a mountain, and the person in it can rest securely.

In the Faith Climb, I’ve learned that you and I can rest – even if we feel like we’re hanging from a cliff – and even if the winds of doubt are whipping us around – because if we are truly trusting God, we are “cocooned” in the arms of Our Savior, The ALL POWERFUL KING of Everything!

5. Even a week ago, we were not ready for a move or a new ministry position.

We thought we were. Like Peter told Jesus the night before His crucifixion, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death” (Luke 22:33-34) We boldly said to the Lord, “We are ready to go wherever you want to send us and do whatever you want us to do.” We wanted to be ready. But we were not. And I’m so thankful God has graciously waited. I don’t know if we are ready today, either. But we’re closer than we were months and weeks ago.

With every day the Lord delays in revealing and bringing to pass His future plans for us, He is using the time to work His present plan in us. His timing is perfect.

Are you waiting on the Lord right now?

And as we wait, God has used the Bible Study, Experiencing God, by Henry Blackaby to be biggest encouragement to us. If you are in a situation similar to ours, let me encourage you to go through this study. Even if you’ve done it before. (This is my 7th time to either study through or teach this amazing Bible study material.)

If you are waiting on God and finding yourself becoming impatiently wanting those adverbial questions answered, I pray that this Biblical wisdom from Experiencing God blesses you as much as It has blessed me:

“Allow Him to take all the time He wants to shape you for His purposes… Trust Him. Do not insist that God give you something you think you are ready for. That could lead to your ruin.

God is far more interested in accomplishing His kingdom purposes than you are. He will move you into every assignment He knows you are ready for.

Let God orient you to Himself. The servant does not tell the Master what kind of task he wants. The servant waits on his Master for the assignment. Be patient and wait. Waiting on the Lord should not be an idle time for you. Let God use times of waiting to mold and shape your character. Let God use those times to purify your life and to make you a clean vessel for His service.

As you obey Him, God will prepare you for the assignment that is suitable for you. Any task, however, that comes from the Maker of the universe is important. Don’t use human standards to measure the importance or value of the task God gives.”

God is up to something good in all of our lives. We can be sure of it – because that’s what His Word tells us.

The familiar favorite Romans 8:26-28 is beautifully stated in The Message and a sure passage to cling to as we wait upon God to accomplish His purposes and His plans in, for, through, and around our lives. I love you and am praying for you right now… 🙂

“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” Romans 8:26-28 (The Message)

About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two teenagers, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com

Comments

  1. paulandteresabrady says:

    Jennifer,
    I can't believe I missed this post Wednesday. I am so glad I went back and read it. I see God's hand all over you all! I have always thought you to be such a pillar of belief but I see you becoming such a strong tower of belief and trust!! I once heard that to God "the journey is more important than the destination." May we both always remember that. I know He does have great plans for you and your family. I love you dear sweet sister in Christ.
    Teresa

  2. This post is exactly what I needed this morning – I find myself in exactly that spot…even pouting and whining a bit thinking God might "hurry along" (sad I know).. but so wanting to be right in the center of His will and learning to wait – in order for him to get all the glory. Thank you so much for sharing your heart.

    Stopping by your blog is always such a blessing!!

  3. Jennifer, thank you so much for this post! So many things went through my mind. The faith part resonates, girl! Also the Blackaby quote, that is so great. I need the reminder of not trying to rush God into the "promised land." Let's encourage each other to wait on Him…and be used by Him to show HIS glory!

  4. Jane (Frugal Fine Living) says:

    Jen, what an awesome post! I am lifting you up in prayer right now. I believe God has great plans for you and your family. As you said, He will reveal it to you in His time, as you remain steadfast in your faith. You are an awesome example of faithfulness to your children, as well as those around you.

    For me, as I watch my unsaved mother slip further into dementia, and my father, who doesn't like my "preaching", continue to decline with stroke-like brain seizures, I wonder what God's plan is for them. While I continue to pray for their spiritual and physical health, I can feel God's hand of peace on me. I know He is in control.

    Jane

  5. Oh my goodness!!! I say Amen and Amen. You have been such an encouragement today; and it was just what I needed to hear. Mostly because I feel like we are sailing in this ship alone; but I know there are others out there in the harbor with us and with the same feelings. I know God has a purpose and plan, but the waiting can sometimes be hard. It's been 7 months now. God must be up to something BIGGGGG! Thanks for today!

  6. You have so much wisdom. I'm looking forward to seeing what God is going to do in your lives!

  7. You have no idea how this ministered to me today! Thank you, sweet friend, for being His vessel!!! Praying with you…<3